Monthly for the history and science of Judaism

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The monthly for the history and science of Judaism (short monthly , abbreviated MGWJ ), was a scientific journal founded in 1851 by Zacharias Frankel , the founder of the "positive historical school" of Judaism , which appeared with a few interruptions until 1939. After the opening of the Jewish theological seminar led by Frankel in Breslau in 1854, the magazine became the publication organ of the Breslau seminar and the leading German-language scientific Jewish magazine.


Foundation and era of Frankel

The monthly was founded in 1851 by Zacharias Frankel, who later became the first director of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau, when he was a rabbi in Dresden . The magazine should serve as an organ of the "positive historical school" of Judaism that he founded; it took a middle position between the reform movement , which was represented by Abraham Geiger , and the new orthodox direction Samson Raphael Hirschs . The monthly represented a conservative Judaism in questions of faith , in which the traditional customs and rites were retained, but in questions of historical research a historical-critical approach was used.

After the opening of the Jewish theological seminar in 1854 with Frankel as the first director, the magazine became the actual, albeit informal, publication organ of the Breslau seminar, with most of the contributions coming from its lecturers and former students. Frankel himself, who was the editorial director of the magazine until 1868, wrote about a quarter of the texts; he dealt with subjects such as the Septuagint , Jewish Hellenism , the history of the Halacha , religious disputations in antiquity and also wrote book reviews .

Graetz era

In 1869 the historian Heinrich Graetz took over the editing of the magazine until 1887. Graetz wrote articles mainly on Jewish history, the Hebrew Bible and the language of the Mishnah . From 1882 to 1886 Pinkus Friedrich Frankl, Abraham Geiger's successor as a rabbi in Berlin and a Karaite specialist , was co-editor. After Graetz's 70th birthday in 1887, the publication of the monthly five years was stopped.

1892 to 1939

In 1892 the journal was resumed by historian Markus Brann (co-editor 1892–1920) and David Kaufmann (co-editor 1892–1899). In 1904, the Society for the Promotion of the Science of Judaism (founded in 1902) was a new group of sponsors who also financially made the " Outline of the Overall Science of Judaism " possible. After Brann's death in 1920, Isaak Heinemann took over the management until he emigrated to Palestine in 1938.

The last volume (No. 83; January / December 1939) was compiled by Leo Baeck . However, this volume was confiscated and destroyed by the Gestapo before it appeared . Only a few copies could be saved; a reprint was made in 1963 by JCB Mohr (Paul Siebeck) within the series of publications by the Leo Baeck Institute .

All editors of the monthly worked on similar principles. While broad areas of Jewish scholarship were covered, questions about controversial purely religious issues were generally avoided.


  • Monthly for the history and science of Judaism. Lim. by Z. Frankel. 83rd year NF 47th year (January / December 1939). Reprint: Tübingen: JCB Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1963 (VI, 666 pages) (published by the Leo Baeck Institute).
  • Monthly for the history and science of Judaism. Jew. Kulturbund in Dtschl., Dresden / Breslau / Berlin 1851ff., Mohr, Tübingen 1963 (repr.).
  • Max Kreutzberger, complete index for the monthly for the history and science of Judaism 1851-1939 , Tübingen 1966


  • Andreas Brämer : The early years of the “Monthly for the History and Science of Judaism” (1851-1868). In: Michael Nagel (Ed.): Between self-assertion and persecution: German-Jewish newspapers and magazines from the Enlightenment to National Socialism. Olms, Hildesheim 2002, ISBN 3-487-11627-8 , pp. 139-157.

Web links

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Nahum N. Glatzer: Monthly for the history and science of Judaism . In: Michael Berenbaum, Fred Skolnik (Ed.): Encyclopaedia Judaica . 2nd Edition. tape 14 . Macmillan Reference USA, Detroit 2007, pp. 433-434 ( Online: Gale Virtual Reference Library ).